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CFOs Advised to Harness Company Digital Footprints for Maximum Value

AAAtraq, a digital compliance firm based in New York, is encouraging Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to leverage their company’s online assets and enhance business performance. The company emphasises the importance of reviewing the digital footprint of organisations to extract maximum value from publicly available information while mitigating the risk of litigation resulting from non-compliance.

AAAtraq, with offices in New York and London, believes that proactive CFOs who drive positive change in monitoring and developing digital assets can help companies across the US improve their online presence, boost sales, reduce their carbon footprint, and foster inclusivity.

As investment in digital services and websites grows, the volume of publicly available information also increases. In this context, complying with regulations such as The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has become crucial for organisations. Research reveals that 41% of an organisation’s digital footprint is unknown, while 96% of it fails to meet essential accessibility compliance.

AAAtraq highlights the escalating litigation resulting from ongoing non-compliance. UsableNet’s 2022 Year End Report indicates a 175% increase in the number of accessibility lawsuits filed annually in the US from 2018 to 2022. The associated costs of settling such claims, including legal fees averaging $27,750, have also risen. Additionally, there are unquantifiable costs related to the time and resources spent on litigation, causing significant distractions and stress.

Seizing the Chief Value Officer opportunity A spokesperson for AAAtraq stated, “CFOs are well-positioned to take ownership of this area and drive positive change. By utilising evidence-based reporting and information to assess the accessibility and compliance of publicly available information, CFOs can gain confidence and clarity regarding their digital landscape, ultimately extracting maximum value from it.”

Considering the CFO’s responsibility to deliver shareholder value, often referred to as the Chief Value Officer role, it is reasonable for them to seek independent validation. Vendors should be held accountable for their work, just as builders do not sign off on their projects.

Embracing a mindset of independent reporting and information, which leads to data-driven decision-making and improved collaboration, CFOs have an opportunity to deliver value in multiple ways:

  1. Reduce spend, cut carbon footprint: Identifying duplicate content through accurate, independent reporting allows for its removal, reducing expenditures and the organisation’s carbon footprint. For instance, it is estimated that 10% of UK Central Government spending on holidays in 2019—due to staff using the wrong forms—wasted $160 million.
  2. Access to one billion more customers: According to the World Health Organisation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1 billion people worldwide, including approximately 86 million in the US, may face difficulties accessing websites that lack accessibility features. Ensuring ADA-compliant websites can unlock access to over 1 billion potential customers.
  3. Enhance brand value: Positive interaction with a brand forms the foundation of a positive brand image. Offering an accessible and compliant user experience improves brand value.
  4. Mitigate risk and hidden costs of non-compliance: Reducing the risk of litigation is a crucial objective for all organisations, particularly CFOs. In 2022, WebAIM found that 96.8% of the top 1 million website homepages failed to comply with ADA regulations. Litigation is 320 times more likely than a cyber attack, with associated costs exceeding most ransomware claims. Additionally, non-compliance results in hidden costs, such as distractions, fines, and regulatory inquiries.
  5. Attract more customers, driving sales value: Search engine algorithms prioritise accessibility. ADA-compliant websites contribute to better search rankings, attracting more site traffic, leads, and potential revenue.
  6. Accomplish more with fewer resources: Independent, factual reporting simplifies board reports and enhances CFOs’ understanding of digital teams’ compliance management challenges. CFOs gain the evidence necessary to shift teams away from a mindset of “we’ve always done it this way,” reducing ineffective spending and focusing on future success.

Delivering value today, tomorrow, and in the future By shifting from vanity reporting to accountable reporting that offers unbiased clarity, AAAtraq believes CFOs can maximise the value of their organisation’s digital presence. This approach addresses immediate issues of ineffective spending, reduces the ongoing impact of hidden costs and distractions, and alleviates the long-term effects of eroded online trust, diminished brand value, and devalued share prices—an attractive proposition for any CFO.

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